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Jake Tapper: ‘That Would be Fake News’ if We Said Trump Had Evidence to Back Up Wiretap Claim
At the beginning of CNN’s The Lead today, host Jake Tapper tweaked the White House and President Donald Trump, by using one of the president’s favorite attack lines, over Trump’s unproven allegations that former President Barack Obama tapped his phones prior to the election.
“President Trump tweeting another conspiracy theory that President Obama tapped his phones,” Tapper stated. “And if we told you that his White House has since produced the evidence to back up that wild claim, well, that would be fake news.”
In the aftermath of Trump’s weekend tweetstorm accusing Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, the White House provided a short statement saying they were asking Congress to investigate possible abuse of power by the previous administration, but have provided no proof to back up Trump’s comments. (And the claim likely comes from a Breitbart article on a Mark Levin radio segment.)
Meanwhile, FBI director James Comey is reportedly “incredulous” over Trump’s remarks and has apparently asked the Department of Justice to refute the president.
‘This is untethered to facts’: Jake Tapper issues brutal takedown of Trump’s ‘nonsense’ wiretap claim
Jake Tapper on Monday issued a brutal take-down of Donald Trump’s latest conspiracy theory, that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign, lambasting those around the president who are “enabling” his “nonsense” claims.
“Where did the president get this latest conspiracy from?” Tapper asked, tracing it back to right-wing radio host Mark Levin’s suggestion that Obama and his allies mounted a “silent coup” against then-candidate Trump. That notion made its way through conservative outlets, including Breitbart, before landing on the president’s Twitter feed.
Tapper explained that “rather amazing detail” of Trump’s latest claim is that none of the conservative outlets “reported as fact what President Trump is claiming.”
“It would be back enough if the president valued conjecture and accusations of these sources more than the facts that he has access to,” Tapper said. “ … But it’s actually worse than that.”
Trump, he explained, took separate pieces of information and “made them even less tethered to fact.”
“He took it one step forward and said [wiretapping] happened and President Obama was behind it,” Tapper said. The CNN host argued while there are “legitimate reasons” to question leaks and motivations behind them, Trump decided to push an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about his predecessor.
“Keep in mind one not-irrelevant detail here for anyone trying to make sense of it all,” Tapper continued. “We’ve been here before, and this is not a land with much sense, or respect for facts. This is a place of conspiracy theories untethered to facts.”
Tapper then listed off numerous other false theories propelled by Trump, from birthirism, to Muslim celebrations on 9/11, to Ted Cruz’s father having something to do with John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
“It goes on and on,” Tapper said, “None of it’s true. And the people around President Trump who are enabling this nonsense, the ones who know better, you have to ask yourselves this question: ate you really serving the president? are you really serving the American people?”